What's the point in short-term mission?

You’ve probably heard it said, ‘what can really be achieved on a short-term mission trip?’

It costs a lot – so wouldn’t it be better to give the funds to a mission partner? There’s so much to do here at home – surely short-term mission is an unnecessary distraction? Mission partners are busy – short-term volunteers would just get in the way! 

Here at Crosslinks we think short-term mission deserves better press. 

For starters, so many of our long-term workers attribute a short-term trip as the starting point for getting them where they are today. Without short-term mission, we could probably cut the number of Crosslinks mission partners in half!

Then there’s the countless number of individuals who say that their time as a short-term volunteer really got them going as a Christian. Others say how it nurtured their faith, gave them ministry skills for the long-run in the UK and opened their eyes to what is going on in the global church. 

But how can short-termers help the long-term work? At Crosslinks we’ve sent people for two weeks to support a missionary mum as she gets home-schooling routines established – what can be an important part of building long-term ministry for a whole family. Crosslinks volunteers have taught English at a theological college so that non-English speakers could access bible-teacher training. We’ve seen teams from churches visit their mission partners – helping prevent the feeling of isolation overseas and fostering deep, biblically-based partnerships. And there’s so many more! Read about Jonny, Robbie, Lizzie and Kayley’s experiences, to name just a few.

Being sent into the world isn’t an optional extra: we’re all tasked with declaring the gospel to all peoples. In Luke 10, it was the privilege of 72, not just the 12 who had the task of preparing people for Jesus’ arrival. And it is an international business. Take Elijah and Jonah for example. Both were sent across national boundaries. They didn’t run through a cost-benefit analysis to see if it was worth the expenditure. They went out feeling their weakness, sometimes faltering (as countless missionaries through the centuries can testify) in order to further God’s outgoing, nation-reaching mission. The result is that God’s glory has spread to distant nations.

Time is short. The harvest is abundant. The workers are few. Every Christian needs to consider themselves sent ahead of the King who will one day come again in glory.

As you consider the needs of the worldwide church against your own situation, gifts, abilities and availability, talk to your local church and talk to us

Fancy going yourself?

We’d love volunteers to teach English to Karen refugees in rural Thailand, for six months to one year. Or, could you use administration skills to serve the Gambian Fellowship of Evangelical Students? Maybe a team from your church could teach English, bible lessons and craft to the children in north India? 

Find out about all of these and more here.

Sign up to our monthly email bulletin

Get stories from global gospel mission direct to your inbox! Each month we'll send you the latest news from our mission partners and projects across the globe as well as top tips on how you can get more involved.

Sign up